LINGUIST List 6.219

Wed 15 Feb 1995

Qs: Primary verbs, ASL dict, Verb frequency, Proto-Iroquoian

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Directory

  1. Gisle Andersen, Omission of primary verbs
  2. Bernard Comrie, ASL dictionary
  3. Dirk Noel, Query: English verb frequency
  4. MARC PICARD, Proto-Iroquoian

Message 1: Omission of primary verbs

Date: Mon, 13 Feb 1995 13:48:14 Omission of primary verbs
From: Gisle Andersen <Gisle.Anderseneng.uib.no>
Subject: Omission of primary verbs

Dear all,

I am writing a postgraduate thesis in sociolinguistics on a grammatical
aspect of the vernacular of London teenagers, namely the omission of the
verbs BE, HAVE and DO (the so-called primary verbs). The speakers whose
language is subject to study are teenagers from the London area, and most
of them tend to utter sentences like: (Omitted forms indicated in
parentheses)

(1) What you on about? (are)
(2) I seen it already. ('ve)
(3) Who she leave the baby with? (did)
(4) I got loads of homework for tomorrow. ('ve)

(1-4) are, of course, "ungrammatical" in Standard English, since a tensed
verb is required in all these sentences. I assume that sentences such as
these are subject to some process of phonological simplification, resulting
in the omission of semantically insignificant elements such as the primary
verbs. This is presumably a result of speakers' opting for rapidity rather
than grammatical "correctness" in everyday speech.

Does anyone know of any other related research going on, or of complete
studies dealing with omission of sentence elements which are semantically
insignificant? I would also appreciate any references to literature
relevant to this topic.

Any information gratefully received.

Gisle Andersen
University of Bergen
Department of English
Sydnesplass 9
N-5007 Bergen, Norway
gisle.anderseneng.uib.no
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Message 2: ASL dictionary

Date: Mon, 13 Feb 1995 07:13:58 ASL dictionary
From: Bernard Comrie <comriemizar.usc.edu>
Subject: ASL dictionary

I heard a brief reference on the radio to a new dictionary of ASL on
CD-ROM. Can anyone provide me with fuller details?

--
Bernard Comrie
Dept of Linguistics GFS-301 tel +1 213 740 2986
University of Southern California fax +1 213 740 9306
Los Angeles, CA 90089-1693, USA e-mail comriebcf.usc.edu
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Message 3: Query: English verb frequency

Date: Mon, 13 Feb 95 17:03:49 MEQuery: English verb frequency
From: Dirk Noel <noelruca.ua.ac.be>
Subject: Query: English verb frequency

Suppose one wanted to know what the, say, 300 most frequently used verbs
in British English are. How would one go about it? Is there a quicker way
of finding out than putting the untagged rank list in Hofland & Johansson
(1982) next to the alphabetical but tagged list in Johansson & Hofland
(1989) and doing lots and lots of calculations?

Dirk Noel

dirk.noelrug.ac.be

CONTRAGRAM
Dept. of English
University of Gent
Rozier 44
B-9000 GENT
Belgium
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Message 4: Proto-Iroquoian

Date: Tue, 14 Feb 1995 14:05:45 Proto-Iroquoian
From: MARC PICARD <PICARDVAX2.CONCORDIA.CA>
Subject: Proto-Iroquoian

 I'd be grateful to anybody who could give me a reconstruction of
the Iroquoian sound system, or any reference(s) to such a reconstructed set.

Marc Picard
picardvax2.concordia.ca
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